CIP COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES – 10/30/17
Attendees: Mike James, Claire James, Jason Allen, Karen Hambleton, Jim Bibbo
Meeting called to order at 6:04pm
Topics of Discussion:
Interest payments for all departmental projects
Mike discussed past/ongoing interest payments for a few departmental projects. An example: a recent road bond, cruiser lease, truck lease and loader lease all combined will end up costing the town $114,000 in interest payments alone – a significant amount of tax dollars. The suggestion to pay outright for these expenses via savings annually in the various town trust accounts was made by Mike. Other committee members generally agreed this was better from a long term savings point of view, but there was concern that the town and “people now-a-days in general” are used to living in a lease/interest based society and that leasing enables the town to keep the tax rate down in the short term, thereby being generally more embraced by town voters. Jim suggested that a USDA loan could be a viable option in some cases. (USDA loans typically carry a much more favorable rate of 2-3% interest typically). Jason suggested holding a public forum or series of public forums closer to town meeting in March, to explain the CIP in general and specifically the advantages of saving annually via trusts to pay outright for expenses, as opposed to lease based scenarios. This will be followed up on closer to town meeting date as it is a bit premature to schedule such a forum(s) at this stage. Mike said the goal in creating the latest proposed CIP is to put as much money as possible into the trusts so we can eliminate interest payments and also accumulate more over time to invest the trust funds conservatively, thereby growing the trusts.
Mark and Carl Goldberg were in attendance, as the committee wanted to speak with them to get an even broader overview of long term expenses beyond the typical time from of a 6 yr CIP. An “inventory” list of all fire dept vehicles/equipment was reviewed, including the general turn around time for replacement and projected costs. These costs will be worked into an expanded 10 yr time frame to allow for lower annual allotments. It was confirmed that the fire pumper cannot be pushed beyond the year 2019. Mark also suggested introducing another line item/trust account labeled “equipment”.
Mark reviewed all of the fire departments trucks in rotation as follows:
- Chevy – brand new (3 yrs., replaced ambulance with this). 15 yrs to replace at probably 100K
- Medium rescue truck 1 – 16 yrs old currently. No current regulation in place. It’s in “ok” shape now, and the life span is roughly 30 yrs. Maybe will last another 14 yrs. Probably would cost 250K to replace.
- Forestry – This is an all-wheel drive pickup truck used in the woods. Needs to be replaced probably in another 5-6 yrs. To buy it new would probably be 30K for chassis and 70K total.
- Tanker – We just got this last yr. Typically will last 30 yrs. so we have 29 yrs. left. (Paid 275K in 2016 for this. Probably would be 350K by time of replacement)
- 2nd tanker – is 17 yrs old. Needs to be replaced in another 13 yrs. It’s a year 2000 vehicle.
- Fire engine/pumper #2 – currently 23 yrs old. Jason asked about trade in value. There really is none. Best thing is to strip truck down and send down to state auction. Cost is 475K.
- Fire engine / pumper #3 – Will last another 13 yrs. . It’s 12 yrs old currently.
- SCBA – to be replaced in another 8-10 yrs., approximate cost is 100K.
Jim asked who certifies the Rescue trucks, esp if they’re old. Mark said no one does it, that it’s largely common sense based, and that what typically takes out a rescue truck is overloading.
Departmental Project Annual Allocations
Proposed annual allocations for projects were reviewed by Mike with the committee. He had slotted the fire pumper in for the year 2020 in order to create a more evenly based tax impact across the next several years but now needs to rework these numbers after confirming with Mark that 2019 is the year of replacement and that there is really no flexibility with this. It was noted that allocations annually to the road department for the next couple of years will be slimmer than usual to accommodate the non-negotiable fire pumper line item but that this number will increase (up to 170K) as the years progress. All committee members feel that road maintenance is a very high priority and needs to be sustainably and adequately funded. Mike will send out the newly revised spreadsheet for review and feedback from committee members via email.
- Karen advised to check the description of the 1991 repair fund, as it might be an emergency fund. Mike will follow up on this.
- Karen also suggested adding BNSYS & Boat Launch to the total project expenditures amount, as the current spreadsheet does not include this. Mike will add these items.
Meeting Adjourned at 7:43pm.
NEXT STEPS WILL BE TO PRESENT THE REVISED CIP PLAN TO THE PLANNING BOARD ON NOVEMBER 14th at 7pm and the BUDGET COMMITTEE ON NOVEMBER 16th at 6:30pm. Jason, Claire and Mike will be in attendance at the Budget Committee meeting.